Participation

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Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and in the spirit of inclusivity and broad stakeholder participation. 

All participants understand and agree to the guidelines expressed below, and affirm through applying that they have reviewed the RAILS mission and goals

RAILS Policies for Participation

RAILS brings together a diverse community to foster responsible AI innovation in legal services. Robust, good-faith discussions may involve competitively sensitive information. As such, participants have an obligation to keep conversations productive, ethical and legal.

We comply fully with antitrust laws. The organization does not coordinate or advise on specific commercial decisions, pricing, customers, R&D plans or other competitive factors. Members independently set business strategy.

When participating:

  • Avoid sharing confidential future plans that could illegally signal strategy
  • Do not propose or reach anticompetitive agreements
  • Share experiences candidly but avoid detailed discussions of pending negotiations or dealings
  • If needed, consult legal counsel on appropriate boundaries

The legal sector evolves quickly. Our dialogue faces complexity balancing openness, legal duties and ethical aims. With care, collective wisdom can responsibly steer emerging technologies. We believe focusing on people-centered AI and shared challenges will keep discussions productive.

Note: As host, RAILS reserves the right to intervene or revoke participation if dialogue contravenes this policy

As an initiative hosted within Duke Law‘s Center on Law and Technology, RAILS operates under Duke University’s non-profit 501(c)(3) status. As such, RAILS adheres to restrictions prohibiting the organization from participating or intervening directly or indirectly in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.

All RAILS activities are educational, research-focused and solution-oriented in nature. While discussions may inform broader technology law and policy issues, RAILS does not conduct formal lobbying efforts. Participants engage collaboratively, but do not directly advocate for RAILS policy positions through external political engagement.

Duke University maintains appropriate procedures and safeguards separating RAILS forums focused on impartial analysis from any separate University political participation or positions that the broader institution may espouse. Individual RAILS participants remain free to engage in political processes external to RAILS based on their own interests and affiliations.

RAILS requests member permission to display member names and organization affiliations publicly on our website and materials. Members may withdraw consent at any time by emailing rails@law.duke.edu.

RAILS requests member contact information (i.e. name, email, LinkedIn) to be shared with other RAILS members only. Members may withdraw consent at any time by emailing rails@law.duke.edu. 

Content produced through RAILS forums and research is presumptively open, owned collectively in the public domain under a Creative Commons license, and can be used by members unless otherwise specified. Members contribute ideas non-exclusively without confidentiality assumptions, enabling transparent sharing of insights across sectors to advance understanding of AI in legal services.

RAILS functions as an open forum convened by Duke Law’s Center on Law & Technology to facilitate collaboration advancing responsible AI in legal services. The Center provides an independent, academic nucleus moving dialogue forward in a solutions-focused manner.

Participation remains voluntary based on interest. Members represent their own experience but not formal positions of affiliated institutions. Membership shifts dynamically with needs of the issues and willingness to constructively engage.

Duke Law moderates coordination but does not direct outcomes or impose top-down participation requirements. Substantive advancements emerge organically from insights members contribute in the spirit of public-interest oriented scientific collaboration. Discussions operate transparently under Chatham House Rule allowing free exchange of ideas.

Resulting proposals belong in the public domain with attribution only granted upon request. Constructive disagreement and pluralistic debate are expected given complex technological and ethical dimensions involved across a diversity of legal sector stakeholders. Overall, advancing the responsible development of AI in law remains the animating goal.

Currently, there are no fees for participation and no obligations beyond assent to this Participation Agreement. Initial funding for convenings and resources is being provided by the Duke Center on Law & Tech.

As RAILS grows, new funding and membership structures may be considered in order to sustain the network.

Updated January 10, 2024